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This method of birth control would be ideal for couples who want to share the responsibilities for contraception, in cases where female methods do not work, and where couples want to avoid a permanent procedure like a vasectomy.
Haim Breitbart of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University who is developing the pill stated, “The pill we are developing gives men the joy of sex without any consequences.”
Working of the pill
The male version of the birth control pill, dubbed the “Bright Pill” is designed in such way that it impairs the reproductive ability of the sperm much before it reaches the womb.
The mechanism behind its working is the removal of a vital protein in the sperm that makes it impotent to fertile the egg in the uterus, thereby eliminating all chances of conception.
According to Israeli scientists, the ‘male pill’ has no affect on male sex drive, is 100 percent effective in stopping pregnancy, and needs to be taken either once every month or once every three months.
Professor Breitbart added, “I think most women would trust their man to remember once a month or once a quarter.”
In addition, unlike the contraceptive hormone jab that is still under trial, the ‘Bright Pill’ is not accompanied by adverse effects like depression, moodiness, and loss of libido.
Experiment on animals
In order to examine the effectiveness of the pill, the researchers carried out a study on mice in a pre-clinical setting.
They administered the male birth control solution to the rodents in two treatments over a period of three days.
Breitbart stated, "What we found is that by treating the mice with our molecule we can get sterility for a long period of time; in the lower dose, about one month, and in the higher dose we found three months of sterility. Later on the male mouse can become fertile. It's reversible.”
He added, "The mice behaved nicely, they ate and had sex; they were laughing, and everything, so all I can say is that we couldn't see any behavioral side-effects - all their sex behavior was retained, which is a very important consideration for human men. A man who takes this pill could also be sexually active later on and have children."
The scientists are optimistic that they will get approval for the pill.
The study is published in the journal Genes and Development.